That is why the Henry County Emergency Management Agency is reaching out to faith-based and civic organizations in an effort to engage the county’s involved churches and volunteers in establishing a support network in the event of a disaster.
In 2006, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, McDonough Presbyterian Church, along with surrounding churches and charitable organizations, answered the call to help those displaced by the mega storm. For two weeks, countless volunteers partnered with Henry County’s Public Safety Agencies to provide food, shelter, medicine and other emergency resources to assist thousands of families who were evacuated from the Gulf Coast with nowhere else to go.
“If you think back to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, it was a disaster within a disaster and in our community we had many citizens who moved here and needed assistance,” said Don Ash, director of the Henry County Emergency Management Agency. “We only had a small amount of public safety professionals who worked the scene but the event was driven by the 800-plus volunteers who came together to service the needs of the people.”
Ash is now looking to reach out to the faith-based community and elicit their help, once again, this time in preparing for a disaster in the Henry community. The Henry County Emergency Management Agency is hosting a faith-based conference May 18 at Grace Summit Church in Stockbridge, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about emergency preparedness, disaster counseling on the scene, public health volunteer opportunities and more. They will also have a chance to tour the various emergency vehicles, such as the Health Department’s trailer, fire department emergency vehicles and the 911 Command Vehicle. Lunch will be provided to all registered attendees. Check in begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the event and a continental breakfast will be provided from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
Those attending must register by May 1 by emailing Shelita Broomfield, Henry County Emergency Management Specialist, at email@example.com.
Grace Summit Church is at 5295 Hwy. 155 South in Stockbridge.